13th of March 2012 Author: Glo Wood
A conference to take place in Glasgow this week will include debt specialists and recovering gambling addicts among others to discuss the effects of online and mobile gambling. In the UK, Scotland has the fourth highest number of gamblers with 75% admitting to gambling over the last year and 49% admitting to gambling once per week at a minimum. According to experts, the gambling youth of today are more likely to develop gambling problems.
Yvonne MacDermid, Chief Executive of Money Advice Scotland, made the following statement to the media: "What we are seeing is more and more people seeking help for their gambling debt and the gambling-related harm that follows. Some people can gamble and it doesn't become uncontrollable but gambling problems can be a tricky thing to detect.'
"The economy is such that people are taking chances that they wouldn't have taken before."
MacDermid believes that the frequent bingo advertisements are creating a false sense of security people.
"Online bingo is a very social thing. People may be sitting at home feeling quite isolated and the bingo sites create a sense of a social network. For some people these sites may just be an interest but for some it gets out of control very quickly."
"Bear in mind people could be sitting in a bookmaker's waiting on their horse running. There may be further betting machines in the bookmaker's and they could well have betting apps on their phone. They could be watching the progress of one bet and be on their phone at the same time trying to get a pay-day loan to cover the cost of it. People can become extremely vulnerable if they borrow money to bet."
Marc Etches, of the Responsible Gambling Trust, disagrees and says problem gamblers are not on the rise and global figures of those seeking support are "very small and very stable".
Andy Todd, Counseling Services Manager of RCA Trust, an organization offering support for problem gamblers, says young people are definitely seeking assistance with gambling related problems due to an increase in the accessibility of gambling.
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